“I hope I don’t fall asleep half way through, as that’s what I normally do watching Q&A”, I told a colleague tonight. I’ve always been a bit of a napper. I can easily take a 5-minute nap (or longer) and have none of the after-effects of continued drowsiness that many people talk about. For me, a brief nap is a great pick-me-up and I do it often. And often I do it during Q&A on a Monday night, and so that’s why I usually tape the show, so I can catch up on it when I’ve woken.

It would have been pretty bad to have nodded off during Q&A tonight, as we were seated in the audience front row. If you squint, you’ll notice there are two bald heads on the right hand side. There were four of us in total, actually, all colleagues who work together but who never get to see each other that often. But this week, lots of my colleagues are in Sydney, visiting from interstate. Mostly people will travel tomorrow morning, but for the people from the Northern Territory and Western Australia, due to the travel time, they arrive a little early.

And so they asked if I could organise some tickets to Q&A. When I asked the question I was pleased to discover tonight’s program was from the Sydney Opera House and was associated with the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. How cool for my interstate mates to come to the Opera House on their first night in town, I thought? Despite slightly delayed planes, they made it on time, and thanks to the public holiday (lack of) traffic in Sydney, we made it to the Opera House on time.

For the four of us, who work in radio, it was fascinating to see behind the scenes and how they “set-up” the program. In particular, how Tony Jones comes out before the program so he can see where the people chosen to ask questions are seated, and so he can double-check the pronunciations of their names. Then there was the pre program “promo” which I always thought was longer, but realised tonight was only 15 seconds. The whole “operation” is very smooth.,

As a “non-political” episode of Q&A, it was interesting to engage in the discussion on a “different level”, as the group pondered a range of weighty issues including lust/desire, Aid to Africa, and the so-called “war” between the generations. Personally, I’m not one for this “war” argument. I think it’s far too simplistic, and it seems to lack an awareness of history, and in particular, how the last twenty or thirty years is a blip in the way in which humans lived together and related to each other. Anyway, that’s something for another post. As we looked around the audience we came to some conclusions amongst ourselves about who would ask the gay marriage question, and who would be the climate-denier. It amused us, but neither question was asked. There was, of course, a question about the Alan Jones Affair (TM), though it was asked in such a way the international panel could have an opinion without knowing too much of the “back story”.

But yeah, very enjoyable, and so pleased I didn’t fall asleep, though apparently one of my colleagues noticed someone in the upper rows who did, briefly, nod off.

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